Frazer IslandWe arrived in Hervey Bay, our launch pad for Frazer Island, just in time for our meeting to brief us on the trip we were booked onto, which began early the next morning.Frazer Island is the world's biggest sand island made up of stunning beaches, dense rainforest, gorges and breathtaking freshwater lakes and streams. It is custom for groups of backpackers to descend on the island in big four wheel drives for three days of unaccompanied camping right in the middle of the rainforest. We were more than a little apprehensive about meeting the group that we would be camping for three days with, hoping that they would be a nice bunch and up for a laugh. In the meeting we were given a quick briefing on the island and the 4WDs that we would be driving, then our names were called out and we were split into the three groups that we would be driving and camping with, it was just like being at school again. When our group, group C, congregated we soon realised that we were two of only four English. After a momentary panic (admittedly more from Jackie than Steve) we were soon busy getting to know the group which consisted of four German guys (Michael, Michael, David and Thorsten) a German girl (Anna), two Dutch girls (Ellen and Miriam) and a couple from Newcastle (Helen and Paul). Our first task was to make a shopping list of the food that we would need over the next three days. It was just like Big Brother with everyone debating over what we would and wouldn't need, but was a fantastic bonding experience and much to our relief, we realised that everyone spoke fantastic English and were up for a really good time. The rest of the evening was spent food shopping, packing and getting an early night in preparation for the madness that was about to begin - it became apparent that we wouldn't be getting much sleep after placing our alcohol order, which would have been enough to open a small bar!The next morning we were up early for more briefings on the jeeps and island, which seemed to drag on for hours and unfortunately were done by three of the rudest Australian men we had come cross so far. It was out first experience of the overt racism and ignorance that we had been warned we would encounter at least once on the east coast. It gave us all something to talk (and later laugh) about with the group though, so ultimately helped us to bond. After what felt like days but was more like three hours of lecturing we packed up our 4WDs with our food and supplies for the next three days, bundled in and set off for the ferry crossing to the island. The ferry took just 20 minutes and was packed with around 15 other 4WDs from various companies all filled to the brim with food and over excited backpackers. We filled off in convoy onto the island. The first 5 minutes were pretty smooth going, even though we had switched the jeep into it's 4WD mode but as soon as we made it off the main dirt track we realised why we needed such a robust jeep, we were faced with narrow little sand tracks branching off into every different direction with potholes you could have a bath in. The car bounced around as we headed along the sand track, desperately trying to avoid the deep bits so that we couldn't get wedged in the sand. To say that we were thrown around in the back of the van would be the understatement of the year, it was like being in a washing machine, we were thrown against the sides, hitting our heads on the ceiling and trying to dodge the cameras and mobile phones flying through the air. As a woman, Jackie would like to warn any fellow ladies reading this, and heading to Frazer Island, to wear a sports bra or feel the consequences!!Our first stop was Lake Birrabeen, a beautiful freshwater lake which was crystal clear and the perfect thing to cool us down after our hot and rough ride. We all made a beeline for the water and didn't even care how cold it was - although actually it was surprisingly warm. Our second stop was lake Boonjamin, which was completely different, a dark reddish / brown mineral lake that didn't look so great but apparently is great for the skin and hair so we all jumped in. After a quick stop for lunch, ham sandwiches with ketchup and crisps (the budget was pretty tight so we had to improvise), it was time to head off of the sand track and onto the beach - the bit we had all been looking forward to. Due to the tides, there were only certain times that we were able to drive on the beach, which changed everyday, but were good for giving us something to structure our day around. Driving on the beach was fantastic, better than we had ever imagined, it was really surreal to drive and see miles and miles of unspoilt beach ahead of you. We did have to stay alert though in order to dodge the sea water as the three stupid Australian guys had drummed into us that our lives wouldn't be worth living if we got so much as a splash of sea water on the car engine. We all took turns at driving; Steve did a fantastic job tackling the beach and sandy tracks while Jackie just tore up the beach a few times.At about 5pm we arrived at our 'campsite' where we would be spending the next two nights. When we first arrived we piled out the car, took a look around, realised there was nothing there therefore it couldn't possibly be our campsite so all filed back into the car to drive north and south of the area to find it. After a good 20 minutes of looking it dawned on us that there was no campsite. It was just a sandbank behind the beach and it was up to us where we pitch the tents and set up camp. The showers and toilets that we were looking for didn't exist! We picked an area and were all very efficient in getting the tents up, then celebrated by breaking into the beers and goon.Steve was voted chef since he was the only one that showed any interest in the role and he did a fantastic job rustling up dinner with only a portable BBQ and heat ring. We had a superb BBQ with sausages and chicken burgers, pasta and salad and were all suitably stuffed. Since we were in the middle of nowhere we had nowhere to do the washing up so we literally had to pack the dirty plates back into the van and hope that we would find somewhere the next day to do the washing up - you can imagine what the van smelt like the next morning.The rest of the evening was spent playing drinking games, which got quite messy but since there was no one around for miles, we didn't have to worry about waking anyone else up. We had been warned that we would see some dingos and told that we should go to the toilet (which involved digging a hole in the sand with a shovel) in pairs so that we weren't attacked but we weren't prepared for just how many there were, they were everywhere, but luckily weren't very interested in us.The sun woke us up at 5am the next day shining through the tent and turning it into a sauna so we were up and out early and still shocked to come out of our tent and see the beach about 4 meters in front of us. We had breakfast then ended up having a kick around to pass some time as due to the tides we weren't able to get onto the beach until 10am. Our first stop was to buy ice to re-stock our esky and make sure out meat for dinner was kept cool. Next we headed to the far north of the island to India Head, huge cliffs which we climbed and saw big turtles floating around in the water below. We then drove south to a shipwrecked boat which had drifted ashore in 1935 and was now half buried in sand. This was followed by a beautiful creek that we were able to float down with the current in the stream and have a good wash in since we were all starting to get a bit grubby. We arrived back at the camp at about 4pm and decided that it was too early to start the drinking games or get the dinner on, so we decided to walk to a nearby lake, Lake Wabby and have a swim before dinner. We knew roughly that the lake was somewhere behind the camp but didn't really have a clue how to get there so decided to play safe and walk around 15 minutes up the beach to a sign post that we had seen for a walking track to the lake. The walk took around 45 minutes, through dense bush and eventually miles of untouched sand dunes. It was well worth the walk though as the lake was beautiful and we all enjoyed a relaxing evening swim. Aware that it was starting to get dusky we started drying off and getting ready for the walk back. At was at this point that Steve had a brainwave that we should try a different route back, which he was convinced would be quicker. He told us his plan and sounded convincing so we took his word for it and followed him in a completely different direction for around 30 minutes. Eventually we arrived at a lookout point on the other side of the lake which looked beautiful but was in the complete opposite direction to our camp. By now it was 7pm and starting to get dark and there we were in the middle of the bush, miles from camp. Panic set in pretty quickly when we realised that we would have to go all the way back the way that we had just came then do the 45 minute walk through the bush to camp. We virtually jogged back but still ended up walking through the bush in complete darkness, hoping that we were going the right direction and preying that we wouldn't be bitten by any of Australia's 10 deadliest spiders and snakes that live on Frazer Island. Experienced campers that we all were,we didn't have a torch or mobile phone between us and were aware that no one knew where we were camping and wouldn't miss us until the following day when it was time to return the jeep. We obviously lived to tell the tale though and made it back in one piece and were relieved to get back to camp, although aware that we (Steve) would now be cooking our dinner by torch light. The evening consisted of more drinking games, which were soon relocated to the jeep after it started raining.We were up for sunset on our final morning, which actually just involved unzipping the tent and standing up. It was stunning and well worth standing up for. By 6.30am we were packed up and ready to enjoy our final day. We had planned to leave the campsite at 6am but rather regrettably a HUGE spider - seriously, bigger than the wing mirror of the jeep, check out the photos - had chosen to spend the night on our jeep, meaning that we couldn't possibly get in until it had moved on.Eventually we hit the road (beach) to Lake Mackenzie, which was the most beautiful lake of them all. We enjoyed more swimming and washing and sunbathing, making the most of our final hours on the island. Before long it was time to leave and we made our way back to the ferry terminal, sad to be leaving the beautiful island but more than ready for a shower and a real toilet When we got back to the hostel all we wanted to do was ditch the jeep and have a shower but alas we had to spend hours cleaning the cooking equipment and the van. By the time we finished we were shattered but still found energy to have drinks with the group in the evening and celebrate what a fantastic time we had had and how lucky we were to have just a fantastic group that got on so well. Frazer Island was definitely the best thing that we had done so far!